Joseph
United States
flag msg tools
badge
Today, we're all Spaniards!
Avatar
.
We certainly hear enough about the bad eggs in the gaming basket. How about something positive for a change?

I am fortunate to play regularly with the most polite and courteous gentleman I have ever met over a gaming table. Not only is he helpful and patient while teaching a game, but he also offers the occasional tidbit of advice in the form of a friendly comment:

"You may not want to do that".

Usually he says this about something I'm getting ready to try that would irrevocably swing the game over in his favor. It's not that he doesn't enjoy winning, it's that he's trying to craft a better play experience. He's training up his opponents.

I have to confess that I've starting doing it myself. Usually when playing with someone who isn't as familiar with a game as I am. What's the result - a game with no teeth? A gaming experience that's neutered? No. We learn something. We train someone. I found myself learning from his suggestions. I've become a better opponent. I've had the same results with others with whom I've used this technique. They become better players, and start using my own dirty tricks against me. Sometimes with devastating effect.

It's a very strange thing indeed to have your own eviiiil (TM) turned back on you. To have your opponent say, as they're picking over your bones, "You taught me how to do that". It's the Frankenstein scenario, where you're destroyed by your own creation.
At some point though, the suggestions stop as you're fighting for your life on every turn. It's kinda cool.

So train up your opponents - at least the ones you like. Maybe you'll get something good in return. Or, if you're really lucky, you'll get an opponent as evil as yourself.



46 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Ferejohn
United States
Mountain View
California
flag msg tools
badge
Pitying fools as hard as I can...
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I do this with my wife sometimes, especially with a game I'm teaching her that I have played many times. However, I try to knock it off after a few plays. It's no fun if your opponent directs your every move, and at some point they have to learn from their mistakes. You have to find the line between "training them" and "bossing them around"...
38 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
CJ
United Kingdom
Colchester
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mb
cferejohn wrote:
I do this with my wife sometimes, especially with a game I'm teaching her that I have played many times. However, I try to knock it off after a few plays. It's no fun if your opponent directs your every move, and at some point they have to learn from their mistakes. You have to find the line between "training them" and "bossing them around"...


Absolutely. As I'm fairly clued in with games I will undoubtedly see the error of my ways soon enough so all the advice is doing is interrupting my playing experience.

I will offer advice to new players but it's generally as a few strategic hints before the game starts and, if over a number of games they are demonstrating a consistent weakness, I might give them some in-game coaching.

Otherwise, leave them to it.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
DC
United States
Grand Rapids
Michigan
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmb
I like this method -- especially if it's just the phrase "You may not want to do that...", leaving the recognition and fix up to you (unless you ask of course). That way your attention is simply called to the situation, but you still must figure things out for yourself.

I generally feel more comfortable doing this (or having it done to me) with someone I know and respect -- so that there is a good degree of trust already built up. Some people inevitably would take this sort of intervention personally, but among friends it is more likely to go over well.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Marvin
Netherlands
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I use 'the look'. If my girlfriend does a move that doesn't make sense, or oversees something important I'll look at her in a certain way and I usually get one of these two responses:

-The 'bring it...' look which means she has planned something
-The 'what are you looking like tha...OH WAIT'

Of course, once the first response has been used in a game I'll never give a hint or anything. She wants me to bring it...I'll bring it
11 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alan
United States
Trumbull
Connecticut
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm not quite convinced that this kind of action is always positive.

To put it in a little more context: During board gaming, I am often wont to be talkative, making the odd comment, remark, observation or such. I usually intend these as a sort of "patter," a little light verbal jousting and jibing, nothing too abrasive or insulting, meant in a friendly manner.

I consider myself to often be guilty of saying too much about my opponent's options and preferred plays. That is, my comments and observations sometimes go a little too far, identifying choices/options or noting facts that the person has missed. Unfortunately, I only notice this overstepping after I've left the line behind me. I don't think it seriously annoys or upsets the people I play with, and I try to keep such over-the-line comments to a minimum, but I don't know for sure.

Sometimes, people need to make their own mistakes, to fall so they can rise again having learned from the experience. This is one reason I sometimes like to talk strategy after the game -- to learn more from the playing for next time.

There's probably a balance at work between positive and non-positive (I don't think it's truly negative, just ill-advised or not recommended). I'm still trying to achieve this balance.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ray
United States
Carpentersville
Illinois
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The downside to training up your opponents is it breeds the same groupthink.

For me nothing is more exciting then playing a new game and discovering what the off the path strategy to win it is. For someone to offer me advice no matter how polite is taking away my discovery or the whole reason i play a new game. I don't mind loosing (actually i quite like it if i can try some fun innovative strategy) but I also realize that if what I try is too experimental and out there it may ruin the game for others so I have to temper it.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
James
United States
Houston
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I find that there is a line that varies with each player of how much of this is enough. When my wife and I play, she wants input from me when she misses a move that is 'much' better than the one that she is making, or there is something she's missing strategy-wise, and some strategy talk after the game. I know where the line is, and I'm sure to stay on the right side of it. One of my friends will never, ever take a suggestion and gets offended when he's offered a 'better' move. With him, I don't suggest anything.

What I'm trying to say is that you really need to know where that line is, and how much 'help' to offer each individual. Personally I'll take suggestions, but I do like to figure things out on my own. Nothing like getting crushed one game and then come back with a great new strategy that wins you the game
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dave Eisen
United States
Menlo Park
CA
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
Another downside is my observation that that are people who say this when the advice helps both the newcomer and the advisor and are more likely to keep their mouths shut about advice that runs counter to the advisor's interests.

Not saying everyone is like that. I like to think that I'm not. But the social context here is more complex than just experienced players helping initiate the less experienced into the fold.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Paul Franklin-Bihary
United States
Seattle
Washington
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I can't imagine playing games any other way. I want the game to be FAIR, as equal as possible, and when playing a noob, it just isn't fair or equal if you don't help them out a bit. Also, if you completely DESTROY them, the odds are much higher that they won't want to play again.

Granted, to me, winning isn't that important. I enjoy the pure and simple act of playing a game. I want my opponent to enjoy it, too. If they are mucking through with no clue, some 'training up' seems not only nice and fair, but necessary.

5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andy Van Zandt
United States
South Ogden
Utah
flag msg tools
designer
badge
PlayTMG.com
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
i absolutely agree with raising the level of your opponent's play, but it is definitely an area to tread lightly on. i prefer post-game strategy talking to in-game, and will generally only mention something in-game if it is a move that will guarantee a loss on their end.

also, to muddy the waters further, there are a lot of people who -don't- know what they're doing and still offer (bad) advice. i notice this more when i'm playing in a group with my girlfriend, because people are more prone to "advise" girls.

and almost as bad as that, is when people call out an "error" in play when you're actually doing something strategic, or based on hidden information... and will ask you for your justification for the move. which is rough, because you don't want to give away what your special card is (or whatever) before the trap is sprung. so you're forced to lie (directly or indirectly, like saying "oh well, i already made the move, i'm not going to take it back"), which is always uncomfortable. i've even had people get mad about you doing something that looks strictly sub-optimal (on the basis that, for instance, it favors the other players around your position), and those kind of people never apologize afterwards when it becomes obvious why you made the choice.

but i DO like raising the level of challenge within a group... when possible.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joseph
United States
flag msg tools
badge
Today, we're all Spaniards!
Avatar
.
I tend to restrict my advice to one shot per game, and generally under only one of two conditions.

1. The game will end very quickly due to a gross blunder.

2. The person has a grossly superior move available to them.

Other than that, the chips fall where they may!

Tact and grace are neceesary of course, and advice is something best given in the context of a relationship. Otherwise, it's undesirable.



3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Caleb
United States
Seminole
Florida
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
so, the upshot of this discussion is this:

some people are jerks and will take any assistance with an angry, resentful spirit, and

some people are jerks and will offer unwanted advice in a boorish, prideful spirit.


I try to play with all the OTHER people. cool
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Onstott
United States
Baton Rouge
United States
flag msg tools
I guess I must just be lucky, but I/the people I have played with in my life, always do this when someone is new to a game.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
As long as my opponent is receptive to advice, I'll usually coach them through the first game or two, but after that, I start giving my tips after the fact (ie: "you opened yourself up when you did this," or "I set you up by doing that."). I've found that people learn things more quickly when there's a sting to it.

Besides, I've got to get my wins in while I can; you never know when they'll turn out to be better than you.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alexander E. Stevens
United States
Harrisburg
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I often appreciate the statement when my opponents recommend I reconsider a move, but I usually decline none the less. I really prefer to learn from my own mistakes, unless the error is so bad that the game becomes drastically abbreviated.


edit: vagrant conjunction
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Fisher
Australia
Sydney
NSW
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
falloutfan wrote:
They become better players, and start using my own dirty tricks against me. Sometimes with devastating effect.

Reminds me of this exchange in a Blake's Seven episode:

BELKOV: Oh I really will have to reprogram you again, you don't last any time at all these days. Well, are you going to resign on this last one? Or do we have to go through the motions?

GAMBIT: There are three hundred and eighty possible endings from this position, defeat is by no means inevitable.

BELKOV: Have it your own way. We both know you've lost.

... (a few moves later) ...

BELKOV: Oh not bad, not bad at all. You're beginning to get sneaky. I like that.

GAMBIT: Do you want to resign now? Or shall we go through the motions?

[Belkov laughs, then furrows his brow and studies the board]
3 
 Thumb up
0.01
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tim Seitz
United States
Glen Allen
VA
flag msg tools
badge
Like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be recovered, so we must die. But God does not take away life; instead, he devises ways so that a banished person may not remain estranged from him. 2 Sam 14:14
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Absolutely!

Play to win, but it's the playing not the winning. It's no fun whipping newbies. Better to improve the level of play you get and make both of you better...
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jacob
United States
Henrico
Virginia
flag msg tools
Go Pats!
badge
My awesome son =)
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
falloutfan wrote:
"You may not want to do that".


I try to reserve this for special situations like when the move in question is going to hurt my strategy...
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Greg Schmittgens
United States
Wichita
Kansas
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
To throw in another variable:

I will occasionally throw in a "You may not want to do that." in a two player game. Most often when teaching a game or when playing a complicated game with many rules (e.g. in ASL "You may not want to move that tank into my line of sight up on the crest line through the falling snow.")

I am much more hesitant to dispense advice in a multiplayer game. Too many other people may a) have more at stake or b) have a plan which would be impacted by advice to a third player.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Krzysztof Zięba
Poland
Kraków
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Check out my first published board game: In the Name of Odin!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I sometimes do that, but I stopped recently, because my girlfriend gets infuriated when I give her advice... don't know why. I can understand that this can get irritating when a fellow player holds you by the hand through the whole game (and I know it gets iritating for both parties), but generally I would appreciate some insight into the game mechanics when I'm doing something horribly wrong.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.